Per latest reports billionaire business mogul Bill Gates and his soon-to-be ex-wife Melinda French Gates have already begun dividing their massive fortune, making Melinda, a billionaire in her own right.
According to Forbes magazine Bill’s investment firm Cascade Investment transferred more than $2 billion in securities to Melinda on May 3, the same day the pair announced that they were filing for divorce.
The stock transfer makes Melinda worth at least $2 billion, while making a very negligible dent in Bill’s overall net worth, which fell to an estimated $128 billion from $130 billion. Bill uses Cascade Investment, a company based in Kirkland, Washington to manage his assets and investments outside his Microsoft shares.
Despite the ten-figure transaction the software titan remains the fourth richest person in the world.
The stock transfer is almost certainly part of the Gates’ divorce settlement. While it’s still unknown whether or not Melinda signed a pre-nuptial agreement, according to their divorce filing, Bill and Melinda requested a judge in Washington divide their assets based on the terms of a separation contract — a document normally signed when spouses are living apart but have yet to divorce. Bill may have also transferred other assets to Melinda in non-public transactions.
At one point Gates owned the majority stake in Microsoft but he has since given away, or sold, most of his shares. He now reportedly owns less than 1%.